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Review of the day for the week of April 19, 1998.

Monday:
White Squall

White Squall
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Although moviegoers interested in ship stories might enjoy the movie White Squall, I really didn't like the sailing story. Thirteen boys attend a floating, ocean academy school called the "Albatross". Chuck Gieg (Scott Wolf) and his shipmates learn to obey the domineering captain's every order - and that includes cleaning toilets! (One particularly funny scene involves an exploding toilet.) They slowly learn to sail the high seas. Unfortunately, on the way back, the ship runs into a storm - yes, a white squall. Surprise! Surprise!

Four boys, the captain's wife who is also the ship surgeon, and a shipmate are trapped below deck, and drown. (The only problem with the drowning scene - was, that I couldn't figure out who drowned, until they announced the names later.) They are rescued, and the captain is later brought to trial to decide whether it was his fault that the boys drowned. What will happen? Will the surviving boys defend the captain?

If you like sea-going movies, you might want to find out. However, I wasn't impressed. As for myself, and several others that I spoke with, the best part of the movie was the previews.

My Rating = Two Stars

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Tuesday:
Something about Mary

Something about Mary
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Something about Mary, an imbecile comedy from the people who made Dumb and Dumber and Kingpin, is not a letdown. This is as full of stupid stunts as both other movies, and I laughed continously.

The Mary mentioned in the title is a beautiful woman with about five men after her - all of them hopelessly in love with her. One of them is an old boyfriend (Matt Dillon) that she almost went to the prom with in high school. (At the beginning we see how he goes to the bathroom, zips his fly and, well, gets something caught in it. Rushed to the hospital, he obviously can't go to the prom, and then Mary moves away. He never sees her again.)

Thirteen years later, he still hasn't forgotten her, and hires a seedy private eye to find out what happened to her. Well, the private eye falls in love with her too. By the end of the movie, five guys are vying for Mary's attention - four of them are bordering on being stalkers. I don't know why Mary would want with any of these nutcases - but Something About Mary is a terrific movie. If you enjoyed Dumb and Dumber and Kingpin you'll love this one even more!

My Rating = Four Stars

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Wednesday:
Wild America

Wild America
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Although I generally dislike animal-nature type movies, Wild America is fun and exciting. I might attribute how much I liked this movie to the fact that Devon Sawa and Jonathan Taylor Thomas, two of the cutest guys around, are together on screen, but it made me laugh too, and not just drool.

Thomas, Sawa, and Scott Bairstow star as three brothers who happen to be from Ft. Smith, Arkansas. Although I am annoyed by the fact that this movie portrays people from Arkansas as complete "hicks-from-the-sticks", I forgive the moviemakers, because this is one funny story.

Hoping to make it big, the brothers set off to film wildlife, so the film is about their crazy adventures ( as camermen ) in the wilderness. One particularly amusing scene involves Thomas being carried around on top of a moose!

P.S. The move is based on a true story about boys from Ft. Smith.

My Rating = Three Stars

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Thursday:
Small Soldiers

Small Soldiers
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Small Soldiers is a live-action version of Toy Story with saltier language and more violence. It is slightly easier to sit through (I literally slept through part of Toy Story).

The Small Soldiers are, of course, action figures who come to life. They were designed with a special computer chip that makes them respond to stimuli - in other words, "these are toys so smart that when kids play with them, they play back". They even kick their way out of their packaged boxes. Yeah, they've got a mind of their own and soon go to war with each other. Okay. Sure, whatever you say. Never mind the fact that no computer - or computer chip- has ever been designed that can equal human thought and intelligence.

The first few minutes of this movie were actually amusing - ruthless CEO's and money-hungry toy designers make for some good dialogue. But when the toys go home with kids and start fighting each other, that's the end of the fun.

And what is the target audience for this film anyway? You'd think it would be aimed at the little-kid audience like Toy Story was - but it's rated PG-13 and would probably be too strong for kids that young. And anyone older than ten or so is going to be bored out of their skull - so who do the filmmakers expect to make money from with this movie?

My Rating = Two Stars

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Friday:
The Parent Trap

The Parent Trap
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The Parent Trap caters to a limited audience: girls under ten. Anyone else is probably going to find this film excruciating.

Annie James (Lindsay Lohan) and Hallie Parker (Lindsay Lohan) are twins who have never met - when their parents divorced, each took one twin, and they now live on separate continents. Both girls are sent to the same summer camp in Maine, where they meet for the first time. In a gag-me-with-a-spoon cutesy scene, Hallie exclaims, "We're like sisters!" Annie echoes, "Sisters? Hallie, we're like....twins!" Hello, can you spell O-B-V-I-O-U-S? I just about died.

If you ever saw the 1961 original Parent Trap featuring Hayley Mills - or even if you didn't- you know where this one is going. The twins scheme to get their parents back together and you know what happens then. So, check out this film if you have a youngish daughter; the script is no surprise, yet the acting on Lindsay Lohan's part is excellent.

My Rating = Two Stars

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